Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tankard – One Foot In The Grave

With Motorhead unfortunately no longer with us, Tankard have now become the undisputed Kings of consistency. “One Foot In The Grave” marks their longest break between albums since 1998, at just 3 years. Nevertheless, this record picks up exactly where “R.I.B.” left off, and offers a sufficiently thrashy experience. The band’s music is still predicated on wonky palm-muted riffs underneath Gerre’s hilariously animated vocals. While Tankard may be fairly predictable or safe, they somehow never run out of interesting riffs. This style of riffing lends itself to being quite memorable, so even though there are no real surprises on this album, it doesn’t feel monotonous or overdone.

As with many Tankard records, the real highlight is Gerre’s ramblings. The band’s focus on “One Foot In The Grave” has shifted away from beer (blasphemy!), instead opting for social issues. This isn’t the first time Tankard has explored this direction, and truthfully, they do it pretty well. Sometimes the lyrics don’t translate properly to English, which is part of the fun with this band. Other times the lyrics are just so absurd that you can’t help but laugh ("Arena of the True Lies" being the prime example). Tankard may not sing about beer this time around, but they’re still about having a good time.

Musically, Tankard is still on point. The majority of songs on this record are fast, and even the slower stuff still feels upbeat. Gerre’s voice hasn’t diminished at all, and the remaining musicians are still completely on point. I’m always a little surprised that with bassist Frank Thorwarth being an original member, his bass is never that loud in the mix, but the guitars have such a nice crunch that it doesn’t diminish from the sound too much. The production as a whole is relatively clean, but the guitars have enough bite to them that it isn’t a problem. 

Relative to some of their previous records, “One Foot In The Grave” is about up to par. The quality has been fairly consistent throughout the last decade, with 2010’s “Vol(l)ume 14” being a clear standout. “One Foot In The Grave” is not quite up to the standard of this record, but otherwise exceeds some of the other releases during this time. Fortunately Tankard is the kind of band where you could listen to any of their modern stuff on shuffle and never be disappointed. The band is incapable of writing bad songs, and “One Foot In The Grave” is another testament to that fact!

Be sure to check out and like Tankard on Facebook!

"Pay to Pray"
"One Foot In The Grave"
"Syrian Nightmare"

Final Rating
4.1/5 or 82%. 

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